How do you write a good business plan?

Essential communication tool before launching a new project, the business plan is a reference document that will help you in many steps. When you need to argue with partners to persuade, it will be the support of your speech.

Financing organizations (banks, business credit unions), distribution networks or franchisors will only take you seriously with a business plan quite precise. So the goal is to get readers to want to follow you in your project and walk by your side. No place for approximation, you need to expose your project, your ambitions and the resources deployed to achieve it. “The idea came to me after a meeting”, “I will focus on this market first, before attacking it in the medium term”… All these sentences, you have to catch them and bring them together in a single “book”, your “bible”, and that of your future partners.

The usefulness of a business plan

If you’re a go-getter and have an overflowing desire to do business, you’re probably wondering what the point of spending time write a business plan † Don’t have great writing skills? You don’t like to “lay” in front of a computer for a few hours to think and write? However, you will have to go through this essential step. Having a synthetic vision of your project, summarized in a business plan, is essential. If you are at the beginning of your project and still wondering about the usefulness of a business plan, don’t lose sight of the fact that it will come in handy on many occasions:

  • To convince banks and credit institutions: they assess both the content and the form, which attest to your seriousness and your involvement,
  • To have team synergy: you are alone, but you undoubtedly have employees. The business plan is a “contract” that will serve as the basis,
  • Not to keep asking questions: recorded in black and white, the objectives, projects and ideas are clear. Fundraising, International Development… No need for nightmares, your roadmap is set,
  • To get a grip on your work: with the business plan you can see if what is being done is in line with the forecast. If you don’t do what you said, correct it!

Writing a business plan is a tedious and limiting step, but ultimately brings real certainty and freedom of thought.

Presentation of a business plan

Please note, this is not a thesis that you have to complete! There is no exact rule, but a full 20 page document will be more relevant than a 200 page block. Like any document that combines “commercial” and “information”, it should be light-hearted and readable. Avoid paragraphs that are too long (maximum 10 to 15 lines) and use a “font” that is pleasant to read. Also enrich your business plan with graphs (projections, estimates), tables (purchases/sales) and images (display of the future store, inspirations). the business plan should be a playful document and captivating for the person receiving it, but also for you, because you’ll flip through it dozens or even hundreds of times!

Some like to combine a text document (Word) with a spreadsheet (Excel). Again, do as you see fit, but one rule should guide your choice: hold the reader’s attention. Avoid attachments, too many documents, in short, the possibility of “losing sight of” the document. A business plan is about persuasion, so try to develop a plot, a powerful thread that will captivate the reader from start to finish. Here’s an example of a “classic” business plan that you can (should) adjust.

Drawing up a business plan

1. The activity you want to develop.
1. Updating the market and identifying a shortage.
2. Your product/activity meets this need.
3. The potential target is identified and significant.
4. Any turnover is sufficient to strive for profitability.
2. Your profile and your knowledge.
1. What are your business/financial skills.
2. What is your market experience?
3. Do you know how to run a business?
3. The market and your projects.
1. List of participants.
2. Your advantages, which set you apart.
3. How you will gain market share.

Never lose sight of thata good business plan is a document that evolves over time† It is far from final, on the contrary it is alive and will accompany you throughout the life of your business project

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